For project managers, focus is key

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 By Jack Nevison

No one would be surprised to hear that leaders don't achieve greatness without the ability to focus.

But focus can be applied in many ways. To most of us, it means getting work done while tuning out distractions. This kind of focus is definitely important, but as a recent article in the Harvard Business Review points out, there are other ways to focus as well.

Contributor Daniel Goleman argues that focus is as much about awareness as it is about avoiding distractions. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is not. 

"Leaders who heed their inner voices can draw on more resources to make better decisions and connect with their authentic selves," Goleman writes. This means paying close attention to their feelings and listening to their "gut instinct," while still considering other sources of information. Goleman cites a study of 118 professional traders and 10 senior managers who worked at four London banks. The group that reported the highest annual incomes consisted of those who "focused on a full range of emotions, which they used to judge the value of their intuition." Most significantly, these top earners finished ahead of those who relied solely on analytics or only on instinct.

This is an important lesson to keep in mind, as the business world is full of professionals who rely too heavily on instinct or analytics alone. New Leaf Project Management's program, "Managing Risk and Making Decisions," will show you how to integrate data and intuition to make good decisions for your projects.

In addition, our QPM games let you sharpen your analytical skills while you earn PDUs for PMP recertification.

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